Veils: They are not an "after-thought"!

A veil seems to be an "after-thought" for many brides; it's "just" a piece of lace or net that is placed on the head at the bedeken and then removed as soon as the Chuppah is over.  I believe the veil is part of the bridal ensemble and should be given some attention: attention to the length of the veil, placement on the head and the comb attachment. 

All the following veil suggestions are applicable whether you have your veil created specially for you or you borrow a veil.

       · Begin to pay attention to veils in wedding pictures – both real-wedding photos and staged fashion shoots. 
 ·      If you are having a veil made for you, discuss your wishes with or ask the advice of your seamstress or gown designer when you order your wedding gown.

·       Like tiaras, veils must match/suit/complement the wedding gown and the overall look.  You do not have to choose your veil and tiara at the same time, but you should have both in mind as you choose your overall look.

·       Once the veil is ready, you must try it on – in the salon - before you take it home. Too many brides bring the veil home from the bridal salon without trying it on and then they find themselves having to "make do" with this veil on the day of the wedding. 

What to look for in a veil:

o   The veil is made up of one or more layers of net or lace.  Make sure the net/lace is not torn, bunched up or stained. Some veils have a finished (sewn) edge and some have an unfinished (cut and not sewn) edge.  The difference is really a money issue - the more work put into the veil, the more it costs.

o   A comb or clip must be sewn (or otherwise attached) into the top, middle of the inside of the veil - in order to attach it to the bride's hair.  Sometimes a line of flowers, beads or pearls is sewn onto the outside section of the veil where the comb is attached.

o   Make sure the comb or clip is sewn in correctly.  This means that the comb/clip should be sewn facing the hair, so it can be inserted into the hair and the lace or netting of the veil lays on your head and face smoothly and without any wrinkles.

o   Make sure the veil is not too heavy on your head and can be worn easily and comfortably.

o   Make sure the length of your veil suits your needs*.

* A veil can be made of several lengths of lace or netting, usually the bottom layers (the ones closest to your skin) are the longest. 

o   Make sure the length of the longest layer of your veil is suited to your needs.  If it is too long and trails the floor, you may need someone to hold or carry it as you walk towards the chuppah and away from it.

How to wear a veil:

·        You can wear your veil at the front part of the crown of your head (Photo 1), at the back part of the crown of your head (Photo 2) or in the back of your head (Photo 3).  Any of these positions are "correct"; it all depends on your hairstyle.  Some hairstyles "allow" the veil to be worn in any position, while some hairstyles allow for only one position.

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3

·        What you must keep in mind is that if you wear a veil at the back of your head (Photo 3), the top layers of the veil must be long enough so that it can be draped over your head and face for the bedeken and until the end of the chuppah.

·      I have my own personal veil preference in connection with the veil and the bedeken.  I recommend a veil with at least four layers of lace or net:

The top two layers will be used to cover the bride's face at the bedeken.  These layers should be long enough to cover the Kallah's face – at least to her chin or at the most halfway down her neck.  When these two layers are longer than halfway down her neck, it is a lot more awkward to raise it in order for the kallah to drink the wine, etc. 

The bottom two layers will cover the back of her head, neck and shoulder area.  I dislike the look of a veil just covering the face and leaving the back of the head – uncovered.  This has nothing to do with a minhag, it is just my own personal preference.

Another solution to the bedeken "issue" is to have a separate lace or net veil (called a Bedek Teichel), with which the Chatan can cover the Kallah during the bedeken. This separate veil is placed on top of the head of the Kallah and attached with a pin. It can cover just the Kallah's face or can cover both the face and the head. Once the chuppah is over, this veil can be removed without disturbing the hairstyle or bridal veil.

My final words of advice: Don’t leave your choice of veil until the last minute.  Choose your veil today!   

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